I’m not sure how many hours I slept last night, but I was eager to get up and get started in finding a cardiologist. Jenny and I both made calls to Emory Clinic doctors. I called Dr. Donald Davis, my internist and primary care physician, to let him know about my surprise heart attack and to ask him for a recommendation to a cardiologist. His nurse responded with a “glad you’re okay” and no particular recommendation, but a blanket recommendation of any of the Emory cardiologists.
Jenny talked to her cardiologist who said that he could see me next week. I held out for someone to see me this week. So, we contacted the general cardiology department at Emory and were offered an appointment for Friday with Dr. Wissam Jaber at Emory Midtown which used to be Crawford Long Hospital. We took it and continued doing research. My friend Joe Hope had touched base with me and had said that his neighbor was a cardiologist at another hospital and he could ask him for a favor if I wanted. Ultimately, I declined in favor of staying in the Emory system for this initial visit and then we’d decide about ongoing care.
That would turn out to be the right decision for a surprising number of reasons. Dr. Jaber went to med school at American University in Beirut, Lebanon and then had residency at Duke University Medical Center and The Mayo Clinic. He was fairly new to Emory Healthcare and I would come to know – fluent in French. So, at our first appointment on Friday he could read that summary notes that my Dr. Guy Lalonde, my Montreal cardiologist, had written in English as well as all of the notes and write ups from other members of the medical team that were written in French. This was truly evidence of God’s sovereignty in our daily lives and a significant encouragement to me in my desire to begin understanding the sacredness of my journey toward rehab and improvement.
In the midst of a growing realization that “yes” in the largest sense I was “OK”, but that I was forever changed and my body could fail me, the signs of God’s love and care were often like flashing lights on a roadside barricade reminding me that he was still aware of my journey. This was comforting to know as my cough and sleeplessness would persist.